SETI Institute exterior at night

The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and the evolution of intelligence.


About the SETI Institute


What is life? How does it begin? Are we alone?


These are some of the questions we ask in our quest to learn about and share the wonders of the universe.


At the SETI Institute we have a passion for discovery and for passing knowledge along as scientific ambassadors.


The SETI Institute is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute headquartered in Mountain View, California. We are a key research contractor to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and we collaborate with industry partners throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.


Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute employs more than 130 scientists, educators, and administrative staff. Work at the SETI Institute is anchored by three centers: the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe (research), the Center for Education and the Center for Outreach.


The SETI Institute welcomes philanthropic support from individuals, private foundations, corporations and other groups to support our education and outreach initiatives, as well as unfunded scientific research and fieldwork.


A Special Thank You to SETI Institute Partners and Collaborators

  • Campoalto, Chile
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • NASA Headquarters
  • National Science Foundation
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • SRI International


Frontier Development Lab Partners

  • Breakthrough Prize Foundation
  • European Space Agency
  • Google Cloud
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • KBRwyle
  • Kx
  • Lockheed Martin
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • Nvidia
  • SpaceResources Luxembourg
  • XPrize


In-kind Service Providers

  • Gunderson Dettmer - General legal services
  • Hello Pilgrim – Website Design and Development
  • Steptoe & Johnson  - IP legal services
  • Danielle Futselaar